SFOpera - Greatest Fears? Guiltiest Pleasures? Three Adler Fellows Reveal All

Greatest Fears? Guiltiest Pleasures? Three Adler Fellows Reveal All

The Adlers 2020

They’re some of the most dazzling young opera performers of their generation—and they’re based right here in San Francisco.

Every year, artists from around the world travel to California to take part in the Adler Fellowship Program, a prestigious opera residency designed to showcase top emerging talent. But this year’s cohort of singers, pianists, and vocal coaches face a performing-arts industry reeling from pandemic-related closures.

What will the future of opera look like, post-pandemic? These fellows are about to show you. This spring, at the beautiful outdoor theater in Marin Center, they’re staging not only a performance but a comeback for live opera concerts in the Bay Area.

It’s called “The Adlers: Live at the Drive-In,” and it’s on stage for three nights only, on April 29, May 6, and May 13.

Now, you can meet three of its stars, as they reveal a little glimpse into who they are behind the scenes. Who’s afraid of giving blood? And who loves the Marvel superhero Scarlet Witch? Read on to find out.

Tim Murray

Name: Tim Murray
Voice Type:
Place of Birth:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Greatest Fear: Environmental disaster
Guilty Pleasure: I don’t feel so guilty about it, but I love collecting and playing complex board games.
Favorite Fictional Hero: Scarlet Witch
Favorite Music, Outside of Opera: Movie soundtracks
What Is the Greatest Piece of Advice You’ve Received? “Calm the hell down,” haha! This advice, given to me by my first voice teacher, has proven to be the MOST important to me—for singing and for life in general! 


Elisa SunshineName: Elisa Sunshine
Voice Type: Soprano
Place of Birth: Mission Viejo, CA
Greatest Fear: Not reaching my potential. Also failure.
Guilty Pleasure: Giving Tim Murray a hard time (as only a roommate can)!
Fictional Hero You Most Identify With: Hermione in Harry Potter
Favorite Music to Listen To, Outside of Opera: Anything! I love discovering new artists and genres.
What Is The Greatest Piece of Advice You've Received? I've been reading Dr. Edith Eva Eger's newest book about prisons of the mind, and it's helped me challenge my self-limiting beliefs. I've been really thinking about the power of choice, whether that be a literal action or a choice to see a situation from a different perspective. Realizing that I am the only one who can give myself permission to do or to think a certain way has been huge for me!


Chris Oglesby

Name: Chris Oglesby
Voice Type: Tenor
Place of Birth: Woodstock, GA
Greatest Fear: Giving blood (but I’ve overcome it at times)
Guilty Pleasure: Long showers
Fictional Hero You Most Identify With: Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes
Favorite Music to Listen To, Outside of Opera: Folk/Rap/Rock/Jazz
Describe an Unexpected Moment During a Performance—and How You Reacted to It:
One of the earliest memories I have of this is from a show-choir performance in high school where I started a solo line on the wrong word—and then continued to make up an entire couplet on the spot. Very grateful the piece was in English, though I couldn’t tell you what I said. The expressions of terror on the people around me, the look on the conductor’s face, and the equivalent of an adrenaline shot straight to the heart are just a few fond flashbacks of my first onstage mishap.

Want to see the Adler Fellows in action? Catch them at The Adlers: Live at the Drive In for three nights only, on April 29, May 6 and May 13. You can also follow Tim Murray, Elisa Sunshine and Chris Oglesby on Instagram

One Fan’s Memory of the Late Mirella Freni, Opera Superstar
A Taste of Wagner: The Recipe for Muscoli Ripieni (Stuffed Mussels)